Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ex-Stanford star survives another challenge in Napa

Former Stanford star Bradley Klahn, seeded fifth, will meet
fellow American Tim Smyczek, seeded second, on Friday
in the quarterfinals at Napa. 2012 photo by Paul Bauman
   Bradley Klahn already has had a tough draw in the inaugural Napa Valley Challenger.
   It's about to get tougher.
   The former Stanford All-American, seeded fifth, turned back 17-year-old qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 today to reach the quarterfinals of the $50,000 tournament at the Napa Valley Country Club.
   Kokkinakis reached the boys singles final of the Australian Open and U.S. Open and won the boys doubles title at Wimbledon this year.
   Klahn, a 23-year-old left-hander from Poway in the San Diego area, outlasted Daniel Evans of Great Britain 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in the first round at Napa. Evans, also 23, advanced to the third round of the recent U.S. Open as a qualifier.
   Klahn will face another player who reached the third round at Flushing Meadows, second-seeded Tim Smyczek of Tampa, Fla., in Friday's quarterfinals. The 5-foot-9 (1.75-meter) Smyczek (pronounced SMEE-chek), 25, has lost only six games in his two Napa matches.
   Klahn won the 2010 NCAA singles title as a sophomore, underwent surgery for a herniated disc as a junior (but reached the NCAA singles quarterfinals and doubles final), and graduated in economics last year.
   He is 3-2 against Smyzcek, including 1-1 this year. In their last meeting, also on hardcourt, Klahn won 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Winnetka (Ill.) Challenger in July. 
   In the other quarterfinal in the bottom half of the Napa draw, third-seeded Rhyne Williams will meet fellow American and eighth seed Donald Young for the first time. Young dismissed Australian Samuel Groth, who owns the world's fastest serve (163.4 mph or 263 kph), 6-3, 6-1.
   An American is guaranteed to play in Sunday's final. The quarterfinalists in the top half of the draw will be determined today, with one American playing in each of the four matches.
   All four doubles seeds lost in the first round. Eliminated were No. 1 Groth and countryman Chris Guccione, No. 2 Tennys Sandgren of the United States and Williams, No. 3 Klahn and New Zealand's Michael Venus, and No. 4 Denys Molchanov of Ukraine and Matt Reid of Australia.
   Here are links to the singles and doubles draws and Thursday's schedule:

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